June 16, 2018 by Don Gentle
The morning started out delightfully with hundreds of scratch-made pancakes with compliments of bacon, fresh cut fruit, hash browns off the griddle (just like Waffle House), greek yogurt, assorted cereals, and of course syrup and honey! You can’t beat that to start your day. I stuck with a big bowl of sliced grapefruit topped with three slices of bacon. I am probably the worst when it comes to dining hall etiquette. I usually find myself walking around with my bowl in the morning, touching base with staff, and having important interactions with campers. It’s a great way for me to stay up on what these boys are doing.
Morning activity time presented like it was going to be a little muggy, but it actually turned out to be much nicer with a healthy breeze. There were a few activities doing something different today. fishing had the boys only using bread and a simple line and hook. No rods. Several boys caught fish on bread day! Horseback had some fun games in the ring that all ended with doughnuts. A nice treat for the boys and the horses.
It is my twenty-fifth summer here at High Rocks. Many things have changed and a lot still stay the same. What I know now allows me to appreciate camp in different ways than when I was 25. I have come to enjoy the community here more than anything. When I was twenty-five, I was all about the paddling program and how many kids we got into kayaks and how many kids we got on the river. While those are still important ideas for young men, the picture has become much bigger. What I have come to learn and ask our staff to focus on is the need for individual attention, for respect, empathy, and the fact that everyone depends on one another. One of the last things I shared with our staff at the end of orientation is that everyone here matters. At times some will be leaders and at that same time, many will need help. These moments are not static and we all need help from time to time whether we realize it or not. Regardless of the situation, we all work together for the betterment of each other. We are stronger, faster, happier, and definitely cooler when we stick together; when we appreciate our differences and still find a common cause.
Have a great night.